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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Unexpected Things You Can Experience When You Start Lifting Weights

Person About to Start Lifting the Barbell Inside the Gym

If you've never lifted weights before, doing it for the first time can seem pretty daunting. You don't want to look stupid in front of people at the gym, but you also don't want to hurt yourself trying to do it at home. Once you've got up the courage, a quick orientation at your gym or a couple of hours with a personal trainer will help you feel a lot of more confident. And when you're started lifting weights and committed yourself to doing it regularly, you're sure to start noticing a few changes that you might not expect. It can have a variety of effects on your body, so watch out for these changes.

You're Suddenly Hungry All the Time

You need energy to exercise. If you want to lose weight, some of the energy you give your body might be in the form of the fat you want to burn off. But you still need to make sure you're eating enough throughout the day to give yourself enough energy for your usual routine, plus your time lifting weights. Building muscle requires extra energy, plus some specific nutrients like protein. If you find that when you start lifting weights, you're suddenly starving all the time, you might not be eating enough. Be careful though, because you could end up overdoing it if you keep eating. It's a good idea to plan your diet to keep things balanced.

You Have to Get a New Wardrobe

Lifting weights can change the size and shape of your body. Even if you start thinking that you just want to tighten things up a little bit, you can still find that your clothes no longer fit you in the way they used to. You now can't get into your jeans, or maybe you've burned off some fat, and your tops are all too big. After you've been weightlifting for a while, the urge and the necessity to go shopping is probably going to get stronger. It's always good to have an excuse to buy new clothes.

You Feel More Toned

You might have started lifting weights with the aim of toning up, but you never expected that you would actually feel more toned. It doesn't take long before you can start feeling like your body is tighter and stronger. You feel like everything moves less than it did before and maybe even that you have more control over your body. You can feel stronger in hardly any time at all. For many people, it's one of the best things about weightlifting, and it can give you a huge boost in confidence and self-esteem. Just try not to flex too much.

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You Don't Lose Weight - or Even Gain It

If you've chosen to lift weights to help you lose weight, you've made a great choice. A lot of people recommend weights as a way to start burning fat. However, you can find yourself feeling disappointed when you step on the scales. You feel like you're getting slimmer, but the scales actually say you haven't lost weight or even that you've put on weight. Don't worry, though. This could just be because you have put on muscle as you've burned off fat. For a more accurate way to see if you're reaching your goals, you can measure yourself with a tape measure. Visit for a guide on how to do this. Taking measurements of key areas like your waist or your arms and legs gives you a better idea of whether you're burning fat. Check your progress in inches, and not in pounds.

You Hold Your Head Up Higher

As you start getting more into weightlifting and your body changes, it can give you a boost of confidence. But that's not the only reason you might be holding your head up higher. You could be physically standing taller after a while, thanks to the benefits of lifting weights. It can help you improve your posture by making your muscles stronger. Stronger muscles can get you to stand up straighter. Plus, having to focus on having the right form when you're lifting weights can translate into your daily life too, and you can find that you subconsciously stand taller outside of the gym.

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Your Aches and Pains Are Gone

Lifting weights can certainly result in a few aching muscles. Being able to feel the burn the day after your workout isn't always the best feeling, although it can be a nice reminder of all the hard work you put in. But even though it can cause you to ache a bit, lifting weights could also help you deal with aches and pains. If you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or you're a generally sedentary person, it can cause problems in your back, shoulders or neck from hunching over. You might find that other joints, like your knees, suffer from not getting enough exercise too. But when you lift weights, you can give your whole body a good workout, and it can help to recondition your muscles and strengthen anything you haven't been using enough.

You Start Thinking About Protein More Than Ever

Before lifting weights, you might never have given much thought to how much protein you eat, beyond knowing you should have some in your diet. However, once you start weightlifting, you need to think about how much protein you're getting if you want to support your muscles. Protein is necessary for muscle growth, and you should get around 0.5 to 0.8 grams for each pound of bodyweight you have. An easy way to measure is to have a portion of protein the size of your palm. The most well-known source of protein is meat, but you can also get it from seafood, dairy, eggs, and beans. And, of course, protein powder. Take a look at to find some great sources of protein that aren't meat.

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You'll Have a New Way to Deal with Stress

Everyone has to deal with stress in their life, which might come from work, family, or other areas. Whatever it is that makes you stressed, being able to deal with it in a healthy way helps your mental state. When you start getting into weightlifting, you can find that it's an excellent way to deal with some of your stress. Some stress is best solved by coming up with practical solutions to problems. But often you just need to deal with the feeling of being stressed. Lifting weights gives you a physical way to do that, and it gives you something to concentrate on so you can get out of your head.

You Won't Be As Bulky As You Imagined

A lot of women, in particular, worry about getting too bulky when they start lifting weights. Although you want to be stronger and more toned, you might not wish to look like a bodybuilder. If you're a woman, your chances of getting really bulky from some routine weightlifting aren't that high, due to having a lower amount of testosterone. If you don't want to bulk up, you can manage your exercise routine, so you control the growth of your muscles. Of course, if you do want to be bigger, you can plan for that too.

You Can Improve More Than Just Your Strength

Your strength isn't the only area of fitness where you might notice an improvement. You can also discover that things like your flexibility, stamina and even speed are improved through lifting weights. Some of these you'll work on through weightlifting, while others you might improve by adding other elements to your exercise routine. You might add some cardio or even do some yoga to complement your weightlifting routine.

You'll Sleep Better

Lifting weights can help you get more and better quality sleep - and not just because you're exhausted. Lifting weights helps to kickstart your metabolism, which can make it easier for you to fall asleep. When you're more active, you'll be able to get rid of excess energy. However, exercising can also get you pumped up, so if you're having trouble dropping off, you might find it better to exercise earlier in the day. Mornings are a great time to exercise if you need something to get you going.

You Will Have More Energy

It might seem contradictory, but being more active can actually give you more energy. If you find that you're feeling energetic or that it's easy to concentrate, it could be thanks to your new weightlifting routine. Your body will be better prepared for your trips to the gym, which means you'll be ready for all your other daily activities too. Not only that, but the endorphins from exercising can give you a high and have you raring to go, ready to tackle anything that's put in front of you. Whether you're going for a walk or lifting a heavy box, you can find that you have more energy and strength to do it.

A lot of unexpected things can happen to you when you start lifting weights. Get ready for some interesting but positive changes.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Walking Canes

Whenever we think of walking canes, we automatically assume they are an item to be used only by our elders or by someone who has a major injury, this, however, couldn’t be further from the truth; a walking cane can be helpful at times when you are dealing with a minor injury or even an inflamed muscle, it provides you with additional support and in turn it will make your recovery faster.

If you work out with heavy weights, there is a chance you may have experienced some lower back pain or even a minor injury, if so, it’s always a good idea to keep a walking cane handy for those times you feel you may need a little extra support. Nowadays, there is no excuse, there are so many fashionable options available in the market that you don’t have to settle for something that will not match your style or wardrobe.

If you are considering purchasing your first walking cane a good starting point is to understand what material you would like it to be made of, the size you need and the type of handle you prefer.

A popular starter cane would be an adjustable derby handle cane, these are easy for first timers as these canes don’t require the user to know their size, as it can be adjusted accordingly and the derby handle is comfortable and stylish. Another reason an adjustable cane is typically a popular cane is due to the lightweight material; they are usually made of carbon fiber or aluminum, this makes the cane easier to carry.

If you prefer the look of a wooden cane, it’s important to get your measurement, the way you would measure is with your arms resting comfortably on your side and have someone measure from your wrist down to the floor.

Don’t shy away from a cane, you will find it to be worth having it handy whenever you find yourself in need.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Home Workout Needs: Sports Gear & Will Power

One of the most common New Year's resolutions that are made every year is the promise to yourself to get fit. Or to exercise more. Or to finally beat your record on the sit up bench. However it is phrased, the resolution remains the same. And where those promises are probable always made with all the right intentions, the issue arises when it comes time to act on and keep that promise. 

Halloween pretty much kicks off the bad eating habits with the plethora of candies lying around the place, but it’s somewhere around Thanksgiving, where it becomes acceptable for everyone to start eating a little naughtier. And that's fine - because in a few weeks it'll be a new year and a new you! In your brand new home gym burning it all off, right? And that might be true for a month or two. But around 12% of gym members sign up in January, and most of them quit within 24 weeks. Which is why having a home gym is a great idea - as it is right there, no effort needed, plus it’s a physical reminder of the money you have spent to prepare for your fitness resolution. 

For most people, when they make a plan to get fit, with all those good New Year intentions, they never plan on quitting. And if you're one of those people - how are you planning on sticking it out when so many around you (even your gym buddy) are dropping out? It doesn't matter if you have just taken a break from the gym for the holidays, are just coming back to it after a slump or an injury, or if you are completely new to the world of fitness, getting into a proper routine can be daunting. It’s not just about working out for a decent chunk of time four or five times a week - you will need to look at completely revamping your diet, and the same goes for your mentality towards fitness. You will also need to restructure your life to be able to fit in your workouts, and to have time for meal prep. 

You might have already started your fitness journey, but after the first few weeks, the excitement starts to wear off. And teamed with the up and coming blue monday, it can be hard to keep it up. So now is the time to have a good look at your mentality and to get into the right frame of mind. Everyone has that little voice in the back of their minds that constantly tells you that you can’t. But you need to kick that guy out of your head and replace it with a more inspirational one - like The Rock. 

Help your mental preparation by preparing the space you’re going to use for your home workouts. Look at what equipment you need, and have space for. have some examples of equipment you might need, and that are versatile enough that you don’t need fifty different types of machinery. There are so many workouts that you can do to maintain your goals without needing all of the specialist equipment that you see in the gym. In fact, you can easily use your own body weight to achieve the gains you want.

Friday, January 5, 2018

2018 Fitness Goals: 2 Areas Which Probably Need Addressing

Well, 2017 has come and gone, and we are now once again stuck with the start of the new year. Like most years, this year will probably not make it much easier for anyone, and as life tends to be, it will not be doing anyone any favours. Will it be any better than 2017? Only time will tell, but what you can do right now is make the most of that new year motivation and finally get around to doing all those things you’ve been telling yourself you are going to do. It’s a time for new beginnings and setting new goals for yourself which will help you keep on top of your game for the coming year. Read on if you feel like you need some inspiration for personal goals for the coming year, as we will be looking at two major areas which may be extremely beneficial to both your bodybuilding and your general wellbeing.

Finally stick to a regular exercise routine

Not many people can safely say that they’ve successfully managed to stick to an exercise routine for more than a few weeks, but those that have, have most certainly felt the benefits. Exercise is not only about trying to stay “fit”, but it is also a testament to your personal organisation and mental strength, proving to yourself that you can stick to something for extensive periods of time. Now, a lot of people may say that they find it hard to somehow cram a fitness routine somewhere into their already packed schedule, but the truth is that exercise in itself is a very flexible activity. If you told yourself that you will run an X amount of kilometres or X minutes a day, then you can probably achieve that goal even before work by replacing your daily commute with a morning jog. Even general exercises which require you to do various stretches and activities, can be performed either in the comfort of your own home or even somewhere in the park. Opportunities are out there, and if you truly want to commit to a proper exercise routine, then chances are you have no good excuses not to do so.

Pick up a new martial art

Hitting the gym and exercising is all well and good, but after a long while it can feel somewhat tiring. Now in the literal sense of course, you don’t really need a long while to feel tired after the gym in the first place. However, after a few years of regular gym visits and training at home or anywhere else outside of the gym, some people lose inspiration, as they feel like they are just doing the same thing over and over. To still stay in shape but try something different entirely, why not pick up a new martial art? Martial arts often include a rigorous training routine which could even replace your current one and are sure to broaden your bodybuilding or fitness horizons even further. Considering you can even go and sign up for a free week-long trial of classes on websites such as there really is no excuse to not try something new out. No need for long-term commitments to just see if you are into it or not, you can go ahead and try it out guilt-free, just to see if it is something you like. Of course, if you find martial arts as fascinating as a lot of other people tend to, then this might grow into something more than a passing phase. With opportunities to become a teacher or trainer yourself after a few years of training, some people even quit their day jobs to pursue a career in that field.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

How to Get Stronger: Choosing Your Home Gym Equipment

If you want to gain strength quickly, there’s no better way than a home gym. It’s open 24 hours a day, and if you have a garage gym, there’s no limit to the amount of weight it can hold.

But if you’re just getting started, what should you buy first?

1. Squat rack / power cage

Our preference will always be for a high-quality power cage. If you don’t have the ceiling height, you can buy a squat rack that offers many of the same benefits.

Rogue Fitness and EliteFTS make some of the strongest power cages on the market, but if you’re on a tight budget, consider Valor Fitness, Fitness Reality, or Body Solid. They all produce racks capable of holding up to 1,000 lbs, for a few hundred dollars.

2. Free weights

You can never fulfill your full strength potential with body weight exercises alone. You’ll either need to buy a home gym, a set of free weights, or both.

Some of the best home gyms are incredibly compact, can generate up to 400 lbs of resistance, and support over 50 different exercises, for all major muscle groups.

A good quality dumbbell, barbell, and weight plate set can easily set you back up to $700. If you want to save money, opt for rubber grip plates, and buy a set that comes with plates in a variety of sizes. Ideally from 45 lbs down to at least 2.5 lbs.

3. Pull up tower

Some of the best pull up towers come from brands such as Fitness Reality and Xmark Fitness. They offer a variety of grip positions, and in the case of Fitness Reality, can support up to 400 lbs of weight.

This is perfect for weighted dips and pull ups, with either a dip belt, weighted vest, or chains.

If you don’t have much floor space and are on a budget, you might want to consider a wall-mounted pull up bar. The Titan Fitness version supports up to 500 lbs, while the Gronk Fitness pull up bar supports up to 800 lbs.

4. Weightlifting shoes and belt

If you’re lifting heavy weights on a regular basis, you need to protect your body, especially your back.

Find a powerlifting belt that doesn’t taper at the front if you want to protect your core during deadlifts and squats.

For squats and deadlifts, it’s also important that you’re lifting from a solid foundation. This means the running shoes with the thick padded heel aren’t an option. Look for weightlifting shoes that either have a flat, thin sole, or a well-supported heel, such as the Adidas AdiPower. 

5. Grip Strength Trainer

Having a strong grip is critical to many strength exercises. The number of deadlifts, barbell rows, and even weighted pull ups you can perform depends on how strong your grip is.

For just a few dollars you can pick up a set of hand grippers, with resistance levels ranging from just a few pounds, up to 350 lbs+ (Serious Steel Fitness Grip Strengtheners).